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First Peoples

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples should be aware that this resource may contain images or names of people who have since passed away.


Aurukun School in Cape York, far north Queensland, closed in May this year after a series of violent episodes directed at teaching staff. The school is one of the Cape York Academy schools operating under the stewardship of prominent Indigenous leader, Noel Pearson.

Pearson was given state and federal funding to take over the running of the Cape York schools because they weren’t doing as well as Department of Education schools. Attendance was low, behaviour poor and academic results were well below par.

So why not try giving the schools more autonomy to operate a curriculum that responds to local circumstances, rather than a curriculum conceived and managed from a distant and out-of-touch Brisbane or Canberra?

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